Researchers develop patch to overcome needle phobia

Monday, June 2, 2014

AN estimated one in ten people go faint at the thought of an injection. But there may be a cure to this phobia in the form of a painless patch.

Scientists at Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a patch consisting of hundreds of microscopic needles that is simply pressed into the skin where they dissolve to deliver vaccines pain and stress free.

Mark Prausnitz, Professor of Biomolecular Engineering, whose team is conducting the research told Reuters “the days of long scary needles may soon be over”.

The thumbnail sized polymer patch contains the drug in each of the hollow microneedles that pierce the outermost layer of skin and claim to be “more effective at administering a shot” than regular hypodermic needles, which are inserted deep into tissue.

They also come with other benefit: the ease of use means it could allow people to administer the ‘injection’ themselves. So for anyone who suffers from latrophobia (that’s a fear for doctors) it’ll mean people won’t have to skip vital vaccinations.

The patches could also relieve the burden on healthcare systems and save money because self-administration will dramatically reduce doctor-patient time spent on routine shots.

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